Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.